Trudeau condemns Russia, U.K. killer of Canadian sentenced : In The News for Oct. 11

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Published October 11, 2022 at 9:50 am

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 11 …

What we are watching in Canada …

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned Russia’s latest attacks on Ukraine as the country unleashed a lethal barrage of strikes against multiple Ukrainian cities on Monday, including downtown Kyiv where at least six people were killed.

While speaking on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday, Trudeau deplored the attacks and reiterated Canada’s support for Ukraine.

“The prime minister expressed his condolences to President Zelenskyy on behalf of Canadians to all Ukrainians regarding the tragic deaths caused by Russia’s actions,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were in retaliation for what he called Kyiv’s “terrorist” actions _ a reference to Ukraine’s attempts to repel Moscow’s invasion forces, including a weekend attack on a key bridge between Russia and the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Putin vowed a “tough” and “proportionate” response should Ukraine carry out further attacks that threaten Russia’s security. “No one should have any doubts about it,” he said.

According to a tweet from Zelenskyy about his call with Trudeau, Zelenskyy “stressed the importance of a strong G7 reaction to the Russian missile terror.”

“Ukraine needs an air shield to protect civilians and critical infrastructure,” he tweeted.

Monday’s missile strikes across Ukraine marked the biggest and most widespread Russian attacks on the country in months. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said the assault killed at least 11 people and wounded at least 64.

Larisa Galadza, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, said staff at the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine _ both local and Canadian _ are safe and accounted for.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly called the attacks shocking and horrifying in a tweet.

“Targeting civilians is a war crime. We will hold Russia accountable,” Joly tweeted Monday.

Joly said she has spoken with Galadza and Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba about the missile strikes.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, said the G7 countries will hold a video conference Tuesday on the situation, which Zelenskyy will address.

Also this …

A British man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Canadian teenager who moved to England last year after meeting him online.

Essex Police said Monday that Jack Sepple will spend a minimum 23 1/2 years in prison for the death of Ashley Wadsworth of Vernon, B.C.

Wadsworth, 19, was stabbed and strangled during a sustained attack in the 23-year-old’s home on Feb. 1, police said.

Sepple pleaded guilty to Wadsworth’s murder last month.

Det. Supt. Scott Egerton said in a statement the evidence against him was “so overwhelming” that he had no choice other than to admit his guilt.

“My thoughts today are entirely with Ashley’s friends and family. Nothing will bring Ashley back, but I hope they find some comfort afforded by the sentence,” Egerton said.

In a statement shared by police, her mother Christy Gedron described Wadsworth as a beautiful and smart young woman, whose “love of and thirst for adventure” brought her to the U.K. “You were the backbone of our little family,” her mother said.

Wadsworth’s Facebook page showed she moved to England last November. She posted photos of what she described as an “amazing trip to London” with Sepple just weeks before she was killed.

An autopsy found she had been stabbed more than 90 times and had bruising on her neck consistent with strangulation, police said.

Sepple was jailed for life at Chelmsford Crown Court Monday.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

An army of 42,000 utility workers has restored electricity to more than 2.5 million businesses and homes in Florida since Hurricane Ian’s onslaught, and Brenda Palmer’s place is among them. By the government’s count, she and her husband, Ralph, are part of a success story.

Yet turning on the lights in a wrecked mobile home that’s likely beyond repair and reeks of dried river mud and mold isn’t much solace to people who lost a lifetime of work in a few hours of wind, rain and rising seawater. Sorting through soggy old photos of her kids in the shaded ruins of her carport, Palmer couldn’t help but cry.

“Everybody says, ‘You can’t save everything, mom,’ ” she said. “You know, it’s my life. It’s MY life. It’s gone.”

With the major search for victims over and a large swath of Florida’s southwest coast settling in for the long slog of recovering from a rare direct hit by a major hurricane, residents are bracing for what will be months, if not years, of work. Mourning lost heirlooms will be hard; so will fights with insurance companies and decisions about what to do next.

Around the corner from the Palmers in Coach Light Manor, a retirement community of 179 mobile homes that was flooded by two creeks and a canal, a sad realization hit Susan Colby sometime between the first time she saw her soggy home after Ian and Sunday, when she was picking through its remains.

“I’m 86 years old, and I’m homeless,“ she said. “It’s just crazy. I mean, never in my life did I dream that I wouldn’t have a home. But it’s gone.”

State officials confirmed eight more deaths linked to the storm late Monday, bringing Florida’s toll to 102 _ just over half of those in hardest-hit Lee County, where the powerful Category 4 hurricane came ashore with 155 mph (259 kph ) winds on Sept 28. Overall, 111 deaths have been blamed on the storm, also including five deaths in North Carolina, one in Virginia and three in Cuba.

It was the third-deadliest storm to hit the U.S. mainland this century behind Hurricane Katrina, which left about 1,400 people dead, and Hurricane Sandy, which killed 233 despite weakening to a tropical storm just before landfall.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Iran intensified its crackdown Tuesday on Kurdish areas in the country’s west as protests sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the morality police rage on, activists said.

Riot police fired into at least one neighbourhood in Sanandaj, the capital of Iran’s Kurdistan province, as Amnesty International and the White House’s national security adviser criticized the violence targeting demonstrators angered by the death of Mahsa Amini.

Meanwhile, some oil workers Monday joined the protests at two key refinery complexes, for the first time linking an industry key to Iran’s theocracy to the unrest.

Iran’s government insists Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body showed bruises and other signs of beating. Subsequent videos have shown security forces beating and shoving female protesters, including women who have torn off their mandatory headscarf, or hijab.

From the capital, Tehran, and elsewhere, videos have emerged online despite authorities disrupting the internet. Videos on Monday showed university and high school students demonstrating and chanting, with some women and girls marching through the streets without headscarves as the protests continue into the fourth week. The demonstrations represent one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 2009 Green Movement protests.

Amini was Kurdish and her death has been felt particularly in Iran’s Kurdish region, where demonstrations began Sept. 17 at her funeral there after her death the day before.

On this day in 1968 …

The founding convention of the Parti Quebecois began in Montreal. The new party, headed by Rene Levesque, said it would declare Quebec a sovereign state if it gained a majority of seats in the Quebec legislature. The 809 delegates adopted a program that guaranteed French as the only official language of Quebec.

In entertainment …

Kamala Harris used her first late-night network TV appearance since becoming U.S. vice president to reflect on how her life has changed since she got the job _ including a shortage of emojis _ and to talk up the need to vote in the midterm elections.

Harris, appearing early Tuesday on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in a taped appearance, promoted Biden administration efforts to fight climate change, restore abortion rights and pardon people with federal convictions for marijuana possession as she urged people to “speak with your vote” in the midterms.

“Nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed, right?” she said, adding that governors and states should follow the president’s lead in offering pardons for state convictions.

Asked by Meyers how life had changed for her since she became vice president, Harris referenced “high-class problems” like security restrictions that alter day-to-day dynamics. She said taking a walk with her husband, Doug Emhoff, is no longer a one-on-one affair and that family chats via group text are “no longer a thing.”

As for her digital conversations, Harris said: “I have not received directly an emoji in a year and a half.”

Did you see this?

The public inquiry into the federal government’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act during “Freedom Convoy” protests last winter begins on Thursday, and dozens of witnesses, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and high-profile convoy organizers, are expected to testify.

The Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, granting to police extraordinary temporary powers to clear people out of downtown Ottawa and to banks to freeze the accounts of some of those involved.

The decision came after nearly three weeks of protesters whose trucks clogged downtown Ottawa streets and also set up blockades at several border crossings.

Protesters, who had raised millions of dollars through online crowdfunding sites, were calling for an end to the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and in some cases an end to the Trudeau government.

Protesters had set up a bouncy castle, a hot tub and dozens of structures on the streets surrounding Parliament Hill by mid-February, while people in big rigs kept their trucks running and blared their horns day and night until a court injunction lessened the noise. Protesters pledged to stay.

The noise and disruption led to mounting public frustration from people living nearby, and Ottawa police and city officials described a state of “lawlessness” as they struggled to maintain order.

Trudeau cited “serious challenges to law enforcement’s ability to effectively enforce the law” when he announced plans to invoke the act for the first time since it was introduced in 1988.

“This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people’s jobs and restoring confidence in our institutions,” he said at the time.

The Emergencies Act requires that a public inquiry be called to examine the government’s decision-making any time it is invoked.

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